If you’re a WooCommerce store owner, then you know that Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It’s that time of the year when you can expect an influx of traffic visiting your store to avail of the promotions. This also means that you need to be prepared to host such large volumes of traffic to avoid any serious security problems.
This blog will show you 10 different security issues that you need to fix in your WooCommerce store before Black Friday. By taking care of these issues now, you can rest assured that your store will be safe and secure during the busiest shopping day of the year.
1. Maintain Multiple Backups
As the holiday shopping season approaches, it’s important to make sure your WooCommerce store is secure. One way to do this is to maintain multiple backups so that if one is compromised, you have others to fall back on. This is especially important during busy times like Black Friday when hackers are more likely to target e-commerce sites.
Similarly, at the time of any sales event, you might have to do tons of changes on the WooCommerce store. It could be banner changes, optimizing optins, product updates, image optimization, etc. While making those changes, if anything goes wrong there is no time for fixes as you already need to serve a large volume of customers and their orders. This could potentially lead to a bad customer experience or loss of sales.
That’s why it is always ideal to keep backups of your websites every week or before making any changes. If you face difficulties in having backups you can opt for the WooCommerce plugin like UpdraftPlus, BlogVault, Duplicator, etc.
Pay attention to the location of the backup, make sure to have a local-saved backup for quick restoring and setup a cloud backup, it will allow you to restore your website manually in case something goes wrong. UpdraftPlus it’s a great tool that help with that.
Bonus tip: your hosting company will probably have another backup available for you in case of emergency, keep their contact close.
2. Opt for A Secure WooCommerce Hosting Solution
WooCommerce hosting plays an integral part in securing your online store. For most of the WooCommerce stores, it is the first line of defense against security vulnerabilities. While investing in developing a secure WooCommerce store is critical, investing in secure WooCommerce hosting is equally important.
Your hosting provider is responsible for the physical security of a website and its servers. This includes attacks from outside sources as well as protecting against hackers who could break into the system and steal sensitive data. Thus, it is important to choose a hosting provider that offers a high level of security.
This may include features such as firewalls, intrusion detection, frequent backups, and encryption. A few WooCommerce hosting providers also keep a copy of your WooCommerce store on multiple servers so if one goes down, the customers can be served without any interruptions.
It is vital that you assess and understand the hosting requirements for your WooCommerce store. Unfortunately, there is no defined recipe for picking the right hosting provider but with some research, you can easily narrow down your options and try a couple of hosting providers before you decide to migrate. The most popular hosting is managed WooCommerce hosting that delivers performance without adding complexities at your end.
3. Install a Valid SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate is important for WooCommerce stores because it ensures that all data exchanged between the store and the customer is encrypted. This is important for protecting sensitive information like credit card numbers and personal information. Additionally, an SSL certificate builds trust with customers and can help increase sales and reduce the number of abandoned carts and bounce rates.
Pretty much all the hosting providers now provide free SSL certificates to the WooCommerce stores hosted with them. To check whether your store is using one or not, simply visit the URL of your store with the HTTPS extension and you will notice a pad-lock sign appearing at the start of your URL bar. If it does not, then you need to request your provider to add an SSL certificate.
4. Limit Unnecessary Login Attempts
One way to help secure your WooCommerce store is to limit the number of login attempts that can be made. This can be done by requiring users to enter a CAPTCHA after a certain number of failed login attempts. This will make it more difficult for attackers to brute force their way into your store.
Similarly, you can also use a plugin to limit the number of login attempts that can be made from a single IP address. This IP address is then blocked for several hours preventing additional failed login attempts and Bruteforce attacks. By taking these simple steps, you can help to secure your WooCommerce store from cyberattacks.
5. Don’t Miss-out on Any WooCommerce Updates
Be sure to keep your WordPress installation and all plugins up to date. WordPress releases security updates on a regular basis, and it’s important to install these updates as soon as they’re available. Not updating your WooCommerce store might leave a loophole and anyone might get a chance to exploit it.
6. Enable Two Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two Factor Authentication is one of the great options to keep up your WordPress security layers ahead. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring two pieces of information to log in – something you know, like a password, and something you have, like a mobile device. Even if someone is able to guess your password, they won’t be able to access your account without also having your mobile device.
So if you haven’t already, be sure to enable 2FA on your WooCommerce store before Black Friday. Your customers will appreciate the extra security, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your store is better protected against potential hackers.
7. Get Your Sites Scanned!
Before the big day, make sure that you run a few performance and security tests on your WooCommerce store. These tests can reveal insightful information that can help you troubleshoot problems and patch security-related issues. Security plugins like Wordfence or MalCare run these scans for you and also suggest fixes. Similarly, you can also request your hosting provider to identify potential vulnerabilities in your store.
8. Use Strong Passwords
A strong password is one that is difficult to guess or crack. It should be at least 8 characters long and contain a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. You should never use easily guessed words like “password” or your name.
If you’re not sure your password is strong enough, you can use a password checker tool like LastPass to test it. Once you’ve chosen a strong password, be sure to change it regularly and never reuse the same password at multiple sites.
Change your password regularly. A strong password is your first line of defense against hackers and other online threats, so it’s important to keep it up to date.
Similarly, apply these password suggestion feasibility for your customers as well. So that, their accounts could also have the essential layer of WordPress security. The second option comes with restrictions – push your customer to use a combination that includes, UPPERCASE, alphanumeric, and symbols.
Once the user meets these criteria, proceed with the further process.
9. Never Compromise on Plugins’ Quality
Plugins play a vital role in any WordPress or WooCommerce website. They allow you to add features to your existing site in a matter of a few minutes. However, the portability and convenience of WordPress plugins can also raise security risks, especially during the BFCM season when you’re busy running campaigns and filling the inventory and not focused on assessing the quality of the plugins.
There are many reasons why you should always check the plugins you use. One is that plugins are written by third-party developers, and as such, they may not be as well-vetted as the core WordPress code. Additionally, plugins can introduce new vulnerabilities to a WordPress site if they are not properly maintained and updated. Finally, plugins can give attackers a way to gain access to a WordPress site if they are able to exploit a vulnerability in a plugin.
10. Safeguard wp-config.php File
This file contains sensitive information such as your database credentials and security keys. If this file is compromised, it can allow an attacker to gain access to your WordPress site and wreak havoc. In order to protect the wp-config.php file you have to follow three basic operations or ask your developer to do so:
- Block access to the wp-config.php file through .htaccess
- Move the wp-config.php to another server location, other than the website root
- Change the file permission to 400 or 600 depending on your access to the server.
Plugins that Can Enhance Your WordPress Security Before Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Plugins can help you save on development time by providing a nice UI where you can apply the advice learned in this article. Different plugins can help with different actions, we recommend having at least one security plugin and one backup plugin installed.
- Sucuri Security (scans your site for malware and vulnerabilities)
- iThemes Security (works to recognize threats, spam, and hacker activities.)
- All In One WP Security & Firewall (aimed at working with passwords and logins, puts limits on the number of login attempts)
- Jetpack (automatically creates site backups and works for WooCommerce site security)
- VaultPress (makes real-time or manual backups)
- Google Authenticator (adds a second layer of security to your website)
- Shield Security (Adds 2FA that helps to scan and block spam)
- Loginizer (Prevent login attempts for suspicious IP)